NEWS

Imia crisis commemorated; police says rallies banned Saturday

The government on Friday commemorated the deaths of three Greek Navy officers killed during the 1996 Imia crisis that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war.

“We are paying tribute to the memory of the three brave men who 18 years ago died for the country,” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said after meeting with relatives of the victims at the Maximos Mansion.

In late January 1996 the US intervened to stop Greek and Turkish warships from clashing over two uninhabited islets known in Greece as Imia and in Turkey as Kardak, in the eastern Aegean. The three officers died when their helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission in the area.

The police said it will allow rallies but ban marches in Athens on Saturday to mark the event “for reasons of public safety.”

Golden Dawn has called a rally at a monument to the three officers on Rigillis Street, near the Evangelismos metro station, at 7 p.m.

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